Jose Ramirez (2017/2018)
Jose Altuve cheated to win in 2017, even if he didn’t take PED’s. The cheating Houston Astros have a long history of tipping their batters as to the pitches that are coming. Altuve’s entire career is now marred by that one fact. Because of that, his MVP should not count. MVP voters are a daffy bunch and had Altuve not been a candidate, it’s likely that Ramirez would’ve gotten his votes. Why? Because second place was a rookie and the MVP voters rarely vote in early 20-something-rookies with no track record.
The runner up that year was rookie Aaron Judge. While Judge had big, gaudy numbers, frankly, you tend to avoid giving the award to rookies. The rationale is simple, you don’t want to avoid having to explain why a one-year-wonder got the award over a steady and regularly impressive veteran. So yes, you disqualify Judge, who’s been a disappointment ever since that season.
You can excuse the votes at the time. For Altuve, he had a monster year and Judge was the new “hotness” that everyone was talking about, so fair enough. That said, Ramirez got screwed because of where he played. The Indians won 102 games that year and was arguably the best regular-season team in the league. Had he played in a major market, he would’ve won in a landslide.
Despite all that, voters didn’t know about Altuve’s cheating ways in 2017 and Judge looked like he was the next Mike Trout (he’s not).
What there was no excuse for was the absolute railroading Ramirez received in 2018. Ramirez absolutely crushed the ball in 2018, and while Mookie Betts had a good year, his season was not as impressive statistically as Ramirez. Most of Betts’ big stats were dependent on other people doing their jobs. Yes, he had more hits and walks than Ramirez, but his big take away was his 129 runs (same as Francisco Lindor). Without his teammates, most of what made Betts seasons so good wouldn’t even register.
For Ramirez, he had more home runs, more RBI’s, more walks, fewer strikeouts, and more stolen bases. The only logical reason why Betts received the AL MVP and not Ramirez, is due to where Ramirez played. Again a major market team gets the MVP. Statistically, Betts did not have a better season. It’s just that his team, Boston, is in a bigger market and was a World Series contender.
Ramirez got robbed. Again.